SOMERSET batsman Chris Jones said he made his decision to retire “after much thought, and deliberation” in order to pursue a career outside of the game.

Jones, 23, hails from Poole in Dorset and graduated through the club's academy before being awarded a professional contract in 2009.

He made his first class debut at the end of 2010 and the following season hit his maiden half-century in the championship against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

In 2013 - after gaining a First Class honours degree in economics from Durham University - he returned to Somerset and hit his maiden first class century against Australia in front of a capacity crowd at Taunton.

Jones said: “After much thought, and deliberation, I have decided to call time on my cricket career.

“While it has been a relatively short career, I feel very privileged to take so many memories and friends with me.

“Somerset has been a massive part of my life for the past 10 years and so it's, inevitably, very sad to be leaving at the end of the year.

“I, however, feel now is the right time to leave to pursue other avenues of interest in my life.

“I would like to thank everybody at the club for all of their support over the years.

“It's a very special club in all departments and I'm sure this will be illustrated with many trophies, as well as International players, in the future.”

This season Chris, who has played club cricket for Taunton Deane, has played in eight championship matches in which he has scored 339 runs at an average of 28.25, which includes three scores in excess of 50 and a best of 87. He also played in four NatWest T20 Blast matches in which he scored 56 runs, with a best of 28.